Greenwald wins donated award for Design In Wood entry

Jan Greenwald’s “Driftwood on the Beach” entry at the fair, a lathe-turned bowl, is made from camphor wood. Jay Styron photo

Fallbrook woodworker Jan Greenwald received a donated award for one of his entries in the San Diego County Fair’s Design in Wood competition.

Although Greenwald’s “Driftwood on the Beach” entry only took fourth place in the Wood Turning – Embellished/Mixed Media category, the lathe-turned bowl was given the San Diego Wood Turners Award.

“I’m very pleased,” Greenwald said.

The bowl was made from camphor wood. “It’s a wood I enjoy turning,” Greenwald said.

Greenwald made the bowl during the early morning. “That’s when I get my most creative,” he said.

Three of Greenwald’s bowls were in the Design in Wood exhibition, and all three of those bowls were embellished. “I use the lathe to create a canvas,” he said. “A bowl on a lathe can be very boring.”

Greenwald uses salvage wood, often from trees which are being cut down or branches which have fallen off, which provides that wood with a subsequent use and also eliminates the cost for him to obtain wood.

“The last time I bought any wood was probably about eight or nine years ago,” said Greenwald, adding he purchased wood from the Pacific Northwest so that he could experiment with that type of wood.

The wood Greenwald used for “Driftwood on the Beach” utilized the “y” segment where branches connect with the tree’s trunk.

“I particularly like to work with that juncture of the wood,” said Greenwald. “When another branch starts growing they push against each other. It creates patterns in the grain.”

Greenwald turned his wood when it was wet. “When you turn them wet they’re easier to work with,” he said.

That requires thicker wood to be retained so that his creation won’t shrink when it dries. When the wood is dry he puts the wood back on the lathe to remove warps and other imperfections. “It speeds up the process,” Greenwald said.

Greenwald prefers winged bowls, which retain more of the wood. “I don’t like to cut the wood off,” he said. “I end up just leaving the wings on it.”

Greenwald also had the third-place Wood Turning – Embellished/Mixed Media creation. “Never Again” is a lathe-turned bowl with nine compartments and is made of mahogany.

“That one was named because I’ll never do another one,” Greenwald said.

Greenwald worked on and off on “Never Again” for approximately a year. “It’s very, very intricate on the bottom,” he said.

Greenwald’s lathe-turned bowl titled “Red Sea” earned honorable mention in the Wood Turning – Embellished/Mixed Media competition. The bowl made of carob is not fully enclosed due to the shape of the wood he used.

“I think that one is going to be the first in a series of sea bowls,” said Greenwald.

Greenwald began turning wood in the 1950s when he was in junior high school in the San Fernando Valley. He left Los Angeles County to attend the University of California, Santa Barbara, and then taught industrial mechanical drawing, drafting, and print shop at a Los Angeles junior high school for three years.

Greenwald has lived in Fallbrook, including Rainbow, for approximately 50 years.

Fallbrook’s Jeffrey Comulada took fourth place in the Traditional Woodworking – Furniture category. “Wild Wild West Desk Mantel” was made from recycled pine and has a two-compartment hutch, two cabinets with two compartments apiece, and one drawer.

The Traditional Woodworking – Furniture ribbons also included an honorable mention acknowledgement bestowed upon Kevin Thom of Fallbrook. He used map, koa, ebony, and Indian rosewood to create “Segmented Arch Table with Figured Koa Top”, which is a rectangular table with four arched legs.

Jack Lamare of Bonsall received honorable mention recognition for his Wood Carving – Birds entry. The egret of “Egret 2017” is made of elm wood.

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